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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002509

SIPDIS


DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT,
TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2004


THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER
THREE THEMES:


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Talat will urge Powell to remove TRNC sanctions - Milliyet
Six American torturers to be dismissed from army - Hurriyet
Suicide bomb plot against Bush -Aksam
Terrorists were to bomb the Istanbul NATO Summit - Hurriyet
Terror organization aiming at NATO summit broken up -
Turkiye
Sharon may change his withdrawal plan - Milliyet
Tension high in Georgia, war looming - Sabah


OPINION MAKERS
Papadopolous: Turkey is obliged to recognize us - Zaman
Papadopoulos threatens Turkey as EU member - Yeni Safak
Iraqi victim says US torture `worse than Saddam' -
Cumhuriyet
Torture official policy of US - Yeni Safak
FM Gul: Abuse of Iraqi captives `shameful' - Radikal
Annan: International peacekeepers may be deployed in Iraq -
Cumhuriyet
Sharon insists on withdrawal plan, won't resign - Zaman
90 million evangelicals to determine outcome of Election
2004 - Radikal


BRIEFING


Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot `PM' Mehmet Ali Talat will call for
an end to the international isolation of northern Cyprus
when he holds a meeting today with Secretary of State Colin
Powell. Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas welcomed Powell's
meeting with Talat for providing legitimacy to the existence
of the `TRNC,' but was obviously upset that he was `pushed
out' of the international arena. Greek Cypriot leader
Papadopolous warned that Turkey is obliged to improve its
relations with the Republic of Cyprus, now an EU member.
Otherwise, Papadopolous stressed, it will not be possible
for Turkey to expect a better relationship with the EU.
Responding to a question in Ankara on Monday, FM Gul said it
was `too early' for Turkey to recognize south Cyprus, and
added that his government would `wait to see developments.'


Police foil fundamentalist bomb plot aimed at NATO summit:
Turkish police detained 24 militants, all of them Turkish
nationals, with suspected links to the Al-Qaida Islamic
terror organization. The men are suspected of preparing to
carry out bomb attacks against the NATO summit in Istanbul
in June. The 24 suspects were detained in two separate
operations in Istanbul and Bursa. They allegedly had ties
to the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, which is
believed to be linked to Al-Qaida. After carrying out a
`sensational' attack in Turkey, possibly including a bombing
at the summit or an attack against a synagigue in Bursa, the
suspects were planning to go to Iraq to fight against US
forces. CNN-Turk reported that 3 of the suspects had been
planning a suicide attack against President Bush during the
NATO summit. Significant amounts of bomb-making material
and equipment as well as Al-Qaeda training materials were
seized during the police raids.


Allegations of Iraqi prisoner abuse; Fallujah militia: The
U.S. military has reprimanded six officers in connection
with the mistreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison
in Baghdad, according to a senior US military official. FM
Gul said the photographs of mistreated Iraqi captives were
`shameful' images that would never be forgotten. Gul added
that it was `positive' that the claims were being
investigated and that those responsible would be called to
account for their actions. A journalist for "Hurriyet"
talked with a group of Fallujah fighters engaged in the
resistance against coalition forces. The fighters included
engineers, architects, former military officers and doctors.
They characterized themselves as freedom fighters, and
rejected the notion that they are terrorists. According to
the report, the fighters are well-organized and well-armed.
They operate in small groups. The guerrillas say they have
killed many Iraqi informants collaborating with the
Americans, and added that they would continue striking at
nationals of coalition forces in Iraq, including journalists
and businessmen. `We could never have toppled Saddam
without the Americans,' says an unidentified Iraqi student
of medicine. At first he said, he and most other Iraqis
welcomed the Americans. They turned against the occupation
because of the `treatment of the people' by coalition
forces. `It will be easier to get rid of the Americans
compared with Saddam,' he noted. An Iraqi journalist in
northern Iraq told "Cumhuriyet" that the Shiite and Sunni
fronts have joined forces in fighting the Americans and
their collaborators, the Kurds. A US withdrawal from Kirkuk
would cause great turmoil in the region, he stressed.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq Prisoner Abuse


"Looking for America"
Oktay Eksi opined in the mass appeal Hurriyet (5/4): "Let's
be honest first of all: There is no way to interpret the
awful pictures from Iraq as isolated incidents. Thanks to
George W. Bush, the US has lost its sense of values on human
rights and the supremacy of law. Thus the current picture
is only a reflection of current American values. If George
Bush is sincere enough, the solution to this problem is
simple: he should follow the example of General Patton, who
was discharged from the US army for slapping an American
soldier. . Turkey has taken its share of US abuse, as we
still remember how Turkish soldiers were treated during a
raid in northern Iraq on July 4, 2003. Americans are very
wrong if they believe that such memories can be forgotten.
Neither Turks nor Iraqis can forget such humiliation."


"Sadists are marketing democracy and human rights"
Davut Dursun argued in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni Safak
(5/4): "There is no country in the world where democracy can
be imported. To begin with, it was impossible to expect or
believe that occupation forces would bring democracy to
Iraq. However, the need for restructuring the Middle East
region is real. Historically, it was a region shaped by UK
and French interests, where the peoples of the region had no
input. Today the US is following the same path by trying to
reshape the Middle East based on its own interests. . It
seems that the US and the Western world treat the Iraqi
people and Muslims in general in a way that suggests they
are taking revenge for the 9/11 attacks. The humiliation,
rape, abuse and torture of Iraqis are giving them a feeling
of satisfaction in having achieved a kind of revenge. The
sad part of the story is that these criminals and sadists
bill themselves as defenders of civilization, democracy and
human rights throughout the world."


"A Clean War"
Okay Gonensin commented in the mass appeal Vatan: "The
photos of the mistreatment by coalition forces of Iraqi POWs
have shocked the world. Apparently, the coalition forces
were torturing prisoners in the name of fighting for a just
cause. I am not surprised that the international public has
been shocked by the photos.The world had been convinced that
the US military was fighting a clean war after the horror of
September 11. People covered their ears before those who
were screaming that this war was anything but clean.
Moreover, they blamed those who claimed such things as being
anti-American. Remember how the US treated Japanese and
Chinese Americans who were gathered in camps after the US
was attacked by Japan. Of course, these two cases are not
the same. But it is not shocking to see today's photos once
we remember the treatment meted out to innocent US citizens
just because of their color or ethnic origin. .There cannot
be a clean war. People who believe otherwise can only be
called naive. When there is a war, the more powerful side
will torture, rape, kill and steal (Who robbed the museums
in Iraq -- Saddam's men or the Americans?). But thank God
there is such a thing as the photograph. Photos showed us
that what happened in Nazi concentration camps and in
Vietnam. And now, they are showing us what is happening in
Iraq".
EDELMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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